Laval University

Laval University. Université Laval. Study in Canada.

Laval University Details

  • Country : Canada
  • City : Québec City
  • Acronym : UL
  • Founded : 1663
  • Students (approx.) : 29000
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As North America’s first French-language university, Laval University draws strength from its history and vitality.
A well-rounded university:

  • Some 500 programs
  • Renowned mobility and exchange programs
  • 5 study profiles: Sustainable Development, Entrepreneurial, International, Honours and Research
  • Custom, continuing, and distance education programs
  • Some 750 partnership agreements with some 500 universities in nearly 70 countries
  • A library of over 6 millions documents
  • A vibrant and diverse community
  • Over 42,500 students
  • Some 5,600 international students
  • Some 230 student associations


The first institution of higher learning in America, open to the world and imbued with a culture of high standards, Laval University contributes to the development of society by educating qualified and responsible individuals who become agents of change and by seeking and sharing knowledge in a stimulating environment of research and creation.


The members of the university community share a stimulating common vision of the future: to become one of the best universities in the world. To that end, Université Laval also intends to stand out by being:

  • A comprehensive university recognized as an establishment with an international reputation for its students and high quality educational programs
  • A university on the cutting edge of research and creation that distinguishes itself on the national and international scenes through its exceptional achievements
  • An open university that promotes dialog, cooperation, and the participation of its members in major world issues
  • A university committed to its community that builds productive partnerships with all sectors of society while staying true to its fundamental mission, independence, and responsibilities
  • A model university that gives all members of its community the opportunity to grow, develop their potential, and establish themselves in a dynamic, stimulating, diverse, and respectful institutional setting
  • A modern university that is committed to sustainable development and manages its resources responsibly



The university community’s actions are geared to bolstering student success and reflecting the following fundamental institutional values:

  • Respect for the diversity of people, societies, knowledge, and ways of thinking
  • Humanistic and ethical approach
  • Development of critical thinking and judgment
  • Personal and community involvement and leadership
  • Promotion of creation, innovation, and excellence

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences
  • Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences
  • Faculty of Business Administration
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics
  • Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Music
  • Faculty of Nursing
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Philosophy
  • Faculty of Planning, Architecture, Arts and Design
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies


The university began as the Séminaire de Québec, which was founded in 1663 by François de Montmorency-Laval, a member of the House of Laval and the first Bishop of New France.

During the French regime, the institution’s role was to train priests for the towns of New France. After the Conquest of 1760, the British decided to expand training offered to liberal arts professions. At a time when French Canadians did not have access to higher education, Bishop Bourget of Montreal suggested expanding the Séminaire de Québec into the establishment of Université Laval. The Principal, M. Louis Casault, visited Europe to obtain a Royal charter, and studied the best university systems.

The Séminaire de Québec was granted a Royal Charter on December 8, 1852, by Queen Victoria, at the insistence of Lord Elgin, then governor-general, creating Université Laval with ‘the rights and privileges of a university’. The charter was signed in 1852. Pope Benedict XV approved the scheme, and authorized the erection of chairs of theology and the conferring of degrees.

In 1878, the university opened a second campus in Montreal, which later became the Université de Montréal on May 8, 1919, by a writ of Pope Benedict XV. In 1971, a second charter vesting supreme authority in the Université Laval council was proclaimed.

Laval, a waltz by French-Canadian ragtime composer Wilfrid Beaudry, was dedicated to the students at Laval University and the University of Montreal. The music for piano was published in Québec by J. Beaudry, circa 1906.

Starting in 1925, the university moved out from Old Quebec because of the lack of space and the impossibility of erecting new buildings in this crowded part of the town. It settled in the then rural outskirt of Sainte-Foy, just west of the city center. The school of architecture returned to this heritage building (now affectionately referred to as Le Vieux Séminaire) in 1989.

The governance structure at Laval incorporates the powers of board and senate. The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the 2 bodies and to perform institutional leadership.

In the early part of the 20th century, professional education expanded beyond the traditional fields of theology, law and medicine. Graduate training based on the German-inspired American model of specialized course work and the completion of a research thesis was introduced.

The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society.

The establishment of Laval University by Royal Charter in 1852 was designated a National Historic Event in 1972 and plaqued in 1975.

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